Holiday Stories from the Scranton Public Library

December is a time for celebration for many cultures and religious groups. The staff at the Scranton Public Library will be sharing stories celebrating Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Eastern Orthodox Christmas. All stories will be prerecorded and shared on the Library’s Facebook pages. Save the dates below to view these stories with your family!

December 8: Bodhi Day or Buddha Enlightenment Day

Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali. According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a peepal tree, also known as a Bodhi tree (Ficus Religiosa), and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it.

Look for our blog post and Facebook post sharing a list of print and digital books & films celebrating this holiday.

December 14-15: Hanukkah (Festival of Lights)

Holiday Story on Facebook: A Family Hanukkah by Bobbi Katz & Illustrated by Caryl Herzfeld

“Hanukkah has arrived! The entire family converges on their grandparents’ home to celebrate. This modern celebration of the joyful eight-day Jewish holiday subtly emphasizes family values and makes an affordable gift during the Festival of Lights.”

December 21: Winter Solstice

Holiday Stories on Facebook:

‘Desert Places’, a poem by Robert Frost

“‘Desert Places’ was composed by Robert Frost (1874-1963) in 1933, while he was suffering a series of illnesses and struggling with bouts of depression. Frost claims that he wrote the poem straight off ‘without fumbling a sentence’, creating a lasting impression of spiritual bleakness.”

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming

“From renown picture book author Denise Fleming, a cozy, cumulative book to warm a cold winter day

Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a special friend. This cumulative tale will have children chanting along as they discover all the trimmings needed for the most perfect snowman ever!”

Winter Harvest by Jane Chelsea Aragon

“On a snowy moonlit night, two fawns, a doe and a buck approach the house where a child waits for them. She and her father prepare a pail full of apples and corn to take out to the four hungry deer. Unafraid, the deer seem to know that the food is for them; after they eat, the fawns scamper around and play, much to the delight of the girl watching them. The next day, the deer disappear into the woods, but the girl knows they will return at night.”

December 22 – December 25: Christmas Week

Holiday Stories on Facebook:

Dec. 22: Dasher by Mark Tavares

“Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.”

Dec. 22: A Christmas Carol, Stave I “Marley’s Ghost” by Charles Dickens

“To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.”

Dec. 23: A Christmas Carol, Stave II “The Ghost of Christmas Past” by Charles Dickens

“Ebenezar Scrooge meets the first of the three spirits – The Ghost of Christmas Past.”

Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol, Stave III ” The Ghost of Christmas Present” by Charles Dickens

“Ebenezar Scrooge meets the second of the three spirits – The Ghost of Christmas Present.”

Dec. 25: A Christmas Carol, Stave IV & V “The Last of the Three Spirits & The End” by Charles Dickens

“Ebenezar Scrooge meets with the last of the three spirits and sees what his legacy will be if he does not change his ways. Will Scrooge make amends and carry the spirit of Christmas in his heart?”

December 28: Kwanzaa

Holiday Story on Facebook: The Seven Candles of Kwanza by  Andrea Davis Pinkney and pictures by Brian Pinkney

“For more than 25 years, African-American families have celebrated Kwanzaa – a holiday, inspired by their ancestors, that celebrates the harvest season. With a rich, informative text and stunning four-color illustrations, this book will help young children to begin their own Kwanzaa celebration.”

January 7: Eastern Orthodox Christmas

Holiday Story: To be announced

“Many Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth, described in the Christian Bible. This date works to the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly observed.”

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